Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Mike Pilavachi – Broken is the new victorious
I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
MIKE’S STORY: He became a Christian as a teenager – for family reasons, quite a lonely one. The Good News was really good, but he felt he could never measure up. He learned what he could about the Christian life by reading Christian autobiographies, a miracle on every page, but the stories made him feel more and more of a failure. The story continued as he enrolled for a winter-time Christian conference in Bognor Regis. The high-profile Christian leader, who was the main speaker, stormily faced down his audience with stage conviction and the confrontation: “Are you living in victory tonight?”
“So,” Mike thought, “if I work really hard at my new faith – I COULD BE LIKE THAT!”
By contrast, he explained, the Bible puts it differently.
…Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise… Influential… Noble…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…so that no one may boast… I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom…I came… in weakness and fear and with much trembling.
2 Cor. 4:7 speaks of the common practice then of storing money in cheap-looking or cracked jars, to be less vulnerable to theft:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians continues in a similar vein.
…perplexed but not in despair… We commend ourselves… in beatings, trials, hard work, hunger…
In sharp contrast to our culture of celebrity chasing, Paul depicts himself as a cracked pot, the glint of whose treasure can be seen through the flaws, and he lists as his credentials: working harder; being imprisoned; and being beaten with rods, flogged, stoned and shipwrecked, multiple times.
AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY, TRUE VICTORIOUS LIVING
2 Cor. 12:7 Paul explains:
There was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan…I pleaded with the Lord…but He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
• God does miracles when we need them most. The lie, which is often ‘talked up’, is that we somehow go from one success to another. The truth is that God often works through our failure.
• We will see more miracles when our desperation gets greater than our fear of failure.
Mike recalled a recent year which he described as “a truly horrific year of ministry”. Everything had gone wrong. He felt empty. He was booked to speak at a Soul Survivor regional event the other side of the country; he really didn’t want to be there, felt he had nothing to give.
At that event, 441 people were recorded as giving their lives to Jesus.
That’s a good example of how it works.
Available in our brokenness. The whole church of Jesus doing the whole ministry of Jesus.